Former Akron Zips center Zeke Marshall went unselected in Thursdays’ NBA Draft.
The 7-foot center had hopes of going in the second round, but despite the interest of the Portland Trailblazers – a team with three picks in the second round – San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers, his name wasn’t called.
“You can't afford to be broken up. You have to learn to deal and take it like it is and do it. It is what it is,” Marshall said from his home in McKeesport, Pa. after the draft’s conclusion.
His agent, Dino Pergola of Hall of Fame Player Representatives confessed to disappointment.
“It didn’t go as planned,” he said. “(but) we’ll have some options. Hopefully within the next 48 hours.”
In that span of time Pergola hopes that Marshall is on a summer league roster with a free agent deal on the table.
In one respect there is a silver lining to this particular dark cloud – Marshall has options and the ability to choose where he wants to go.
“I want to put him in a spot where he can be successful,” Pergola said.
In addition to going back to the teams that expressed interest in Marshall, he said that they would think outside the box for other opportunities. He declined to be more specific.
Marshall was the Mid-American Conference’s two-time Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged 13 points, seven rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game in his senior year. Had he been drafted, he would have been the ended a 10-year conference drought in that area.
Marshall will instead have to prove himself in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“It serves as an incentive,” he said. “You have to look at it. What else could I do? I did what I could. I'm just going to go in and play as hard as I can.”